MEXICO CITY — A former Mexican protection minister was arrested on Thursday evening after arriving at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport along with his household, in response to the Mexican authorities. He’s the primary high-ranking army official to be taken into custody in america in reference to drug-related corruption.
The previous official, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who was Mexico’s protection minister from 2012 to 2018, was arrested by america authorities on the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration and can face drug and money-laundering prices, in response to a federal regulation enforcement official.
The information not solely casts a pall over the nation’s combat towards organized crime, it additionally underscores the forces of corruption that contact the best ranges of Mexico’s authorities. Normal Cienfuegos’s arrest can also be sure to ship chills by way of the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“There has by no means been a minister of protection in Mexico arrested,” mentioned Jorge Castañeda, a former Mexican overseas minister. “The minister of protection in Mexico is a man that not solely runs the military and is a army man, however he experiences on to the president. There isn’t a one above him besides the president.”
Normal Cienfuegos served as protection minister at a time when homicides spiked to historic ranges and drug cartels waged battle.
“It is a enormous deal” mentioned Alejandro Madrazo, a professor at CIDE, a college in Mexico Metropolis. “The army has develop into far more corrupt and far more abusive because the battle on medicine was declared, and for the primary time they might not be untouchable — however not by the Mexican authorities, by the American authorities.”
Mexico’s army has performed a central function in public safety because the crackdown on the drug cartels started in 2006, deploying troopers to areas overrun by organized crime. The secretary of protection oversees that effort.
It is a growing story.